After President Trump sat down for an interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl at the White House on Tuesday, he tweeted a video showing the veteran TV journalist without a mask on, with an enigmatic caption promising “more to come.”
The post was put up following a CNN report citing two sources that claimed the president “abruptly ended” his one-on-one interview with Stahl after 45 minutes, and that he did not return for a scheduled taping of a walk-and-talk with his running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.
Two people familiar with the circumstances told the New York Times that the president had grown irritated with Stahl’s questions.
Key Words: Trump told Lesley Stahl in 2016 why he pillories the press, the veteran broadcast journalist recalled in 2018
Neither the White House nor representatives of “60 Minutes” were immediately available for comment.
The incumbent Republican president and vice president are scheduled to appear on the CBS News program’s election special this Sunday. Their Democratic opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, were also interviewed for this weekend’s program by Norah O’Donnell. CNN reports that while Biden and Harris taped their interviews separately, Trump and Pence were slated to appear on camera together, as they had just before the 2016 election.
Pundits and journalists began speculating on Twitter about what had happened during the taping on Tuesday, resulting in Stahl’s name becoming a trending topic on the social-media platform.
Stahl was hospitalized with COVID-19 in the spring and has recovered. President Trump recently spent a few days at Walter Reed Medical Center after he, the first lady and their son tested positive for COVID-19, along with a number of other White House staffers.
The pending “60 Minutes” interview and alleged behind-the-scenes drama also led a 2018 Stahl clip to resurface, in which she shared a conversation that she had with Trump in 2016 about why he attacked the press so much, even when there weren’t any cameras around. She revealed during the talk at the Deadline Club of New York that the president had told her: “ ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ ”
Trump went on to threaten via Twitter to post video of the interview before its airing on Sunday “so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about…”: